How do I use quotes in my A Level English lit exam?

Quoting is very important in your English exam as the quotes are the evidence to the point you are making.  

There isn't a set 'required number' of quotes to use in an essay, but the usual rule is PEC (Point, Evidence, Conclusion). This means if you make a point (eg. Curley's wife wearing a red dress represents the impending danger the characters are about to be in), you must then provide evidence from the text to support your analysis. You should then link the quote back to the point and conlcude just why this relevant to the question and your main argument of the essay. 

To include a quote, it is better and easier to read if you integrate the quotes, meaning it should flow freely in the context of the sentence. For example, "This is proven by Lennie walking 'heavily, dragging his feet a little, way a bear drags his paws' as he shows base animalistic quailities.".

If necessary, you can change the pronouns or tense of certain words in order for it to make sense by placing the new word in square brackets, for example, "This is proven by [his] walking,' as he, '[dragged] his feet a little.". 

Remember, if this is coursework you will need to reference your quotes. Your teacher will inform you which referencing system you are required to use. Usually, however, in a timed, written exam you would not be expected to reference your quotes, but you may be required to memorise the quotes if it is a 'closed book' exam. 

Katie W. A Level English tutor, GCSE English tutor, A Level English L...

1 year ago

Answered by Katie, an A Level English tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


£20 /hr

Charlotte H.

Degree: Classics and English (Bachelors) - Oxford, Regent's Park College University

Subjects offered:English, Classical Civilisation+ 1 more

Classical Civilisation

“Mind-map-enthusiast, preparing for Summer exams so will be revising all my revision techniques and perfecting them, benefitting both me and my students!”

£30 /hr

Roslyn I.

Degree: Anthropology with International Relations (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered:English, Extended Project Qualification+ 2 more

Extended Project Qualification
-Personal Statements-

“My name is Roslyn Irving and I am currently studying for a degree in Anthropology and International Relations. Having taken Science A-levels as well as English I am in a good position to ”

£20 /hr

Sophie L.

Degree: Romantic and Victorian Literary Studies (Masters) - Durham University

Subjects offered:English, English Literature+ 2 more

English Literature
English Language
-Personal Statements-

“I am a postgraduate student at Durham University, studying a Masters in Romantic and Victorian Literary Studies. I have been a tutor of English Language and Literature for three years now and I am extremeley enthusiastic about the aca...”

About the author

Katie W. A Level English tutor, GCSE English tutor, A Level English L...

Katie W.

Currently unavailable: for new students

Degree: Drama and Theatre Arts (Bachelors) - Birmingham University

Subjects offered:English, English Literature+ 3 more

English Literature
English Language
-Personal Statements-

“About me I'm a student of Drama & Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham, but have studied and loved English throughout my schoo life, obtaining an A* in English lit and lang at GCSE, and an A in English lit at A Level.  I volu...”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Other A Level English questions

How do I analyse my A level texts effectively?

How should I use quotes in an essay?

How can I write a great conclusion to an English essay?

Consider the significance of isolation in Frankenstein.

View A Level English tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss